US SQUASH

Illingworth Captures U.S. Hardball Singles Crown

HB nats julian and chris

Images courtesy of John Cosmi.  

Eight-time U.S. softball singles champion Julian Illingworth won his first U.S. Hardball Singles Championship in his first attempt at the Harvard Club of New York, February 14-16.

Having entered the Open division main draw unseeded, twenty-nine-year-old Illingworth found his footing in the first round defeating William Gaynor 15-8, 15-7, 12-15, 15-6. Two seed Hamed Anvari then met Illingworth (pictured above, right) in the quarterfinals after a first-round bye, and found himself on the receiving end of a three game loss, 15-11, 15-13, 15-8.

Smith and SteinglassThree seed and Squash Doubles Association (SDA) world No. 4 Clive Leach presented Illingworth with a formidable challenge in the semifinals stretching Illingworth, SDA world No. 28, to four games 15-11, 9-15, 15-6, 15-10.

Former PSA world No. 4 and SDA world No. 17 Chris Walker (pictured above, left) weighed in as the top seed of the tournament as the forty-six-year-old recorded two three-game victories on his way to the final. Seeded to meet Walker in the semifinals, four seed Eric Pearson was forced to retire against Matt Domenick in the quarterfinals.

80+ finalists

The final between prominent past and present softball singles players translated as such throughout the match with little use of trademark hardball shots such as reverse-corners and three-walls. After winning the first game 15-10, Illingworth found himself down 9-11 in the second game before winning six of the next seven points creating a two game advantage. Walker again led late in the third game 13-11, before Illingworth rallied to win 16-13 in the tie-break clinching the match and title.

In the Men’s 50+ round robin, Tomas Harrity took the honors winning his matches against Steven Kupka and James Austin without dropping a game or conceding ten or more points in a game.

Eric Berger defeated former champion Tefft Smith in a three-game 60+ final, while Henry Steinglass went undefeated in the five-player 70+ round robin. Charles Baker is the 80+ champion with two, three-game victories in the three-player round robin.

View all results on the 2014 U.S. Hardball Singles tournament page. 

 

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